In this Monday, March 31, 2014 photo, a shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft is seen on low cloud cover while it searches for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Malaysia's national police chief has warned that the investigation into what happened to the plane may take a long time and may never determine the cause of the tragedy. Khalid Abu Bakar said Wednesday, April 2, that the criminal investigation is still focused on four areas — hijacking, sabotage and personal or psychologica problems of those on board the plane. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool) (AP)

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 update: FBI completes examination of pilot's flight simulator

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak visits search headquarters in Perth, and vows to not to stop looking


Sarah Gray
April 3, 2014 6:00PM (UTC)

Malaysia Airlines flight M370 has been missing for just shy of a month, and investigators are hitting dead ends both in the ocean search and the on ground investigation. The FBI completed its probe into the flight simulator belonging to the plane's pilot, Capt. Zaharie Shah.  Investigators found the flight simulator during their post disappearance investigation. Data from the simulator had been wiped in February. Investigators hoped that the missing data would give them clues to what happened to the plane. According to ABC News, the FBI found “nothing suspicious whatsoever.”

Malaysian police investigators announced on Wednesday that they were narrowing the focus of the investigation on the 12 members of the flight crew after clearing all passengers of suspicion, according to CBS News. Yesterday Malaysian Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar gave a press briefing saying investigators had talked to over 170 family members of the crew.

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The plane, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, left Kuala Lumpur after midnight on March 8. Somewhere on its routine trip to Beijing, the Boeing 777's transponders shut down and the plane veered off course.

British satellite company Inmarsat used the plane's final "ping" to calculate that it must have flown into the Indian Ocean. This information coupled with satellite images from several countries, and several other calculations made my the search team led to a massive search for the plane 1,100 miles north-west of Perth, Australia. The search team includes planes, ships and submarines from the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Malaysia, Japan, China, South Korea and New Zealand. Thus far, no debris from the plane has been located. Time is currently running out to find the black box. The battery life for its beacons is only roughly 30 days.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is currently in Perth where the headquarters for the search is located. Despite Malaysia police chief, Khalid's grave warning that "At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause,” Razak pledged to not give up. According to Time Prime Minister Najib spoke to reporters in Perth. “We want to provide comfort to the families, and we will not rest until answers are indeed found," he said. "In due time, we will provide a closure for this event.”

He also added, according to Time, “I know that until we find the plane, many families cannot start to grieve. I cannot imagine what they must be going through. But I can promise them that we will not give up.”

h/t ABC News, Time, CBS News


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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